The Stages of Writing a Personal Statement

Hello Everyone,

For all those prospective students, an explanation as to how you feel.

1. “I’m SO excited to do this!”

This is the start. You are so ready for this essay.  You are going to kick it’s butt. You are ready for this challenge. They have to know how awesome you are! This is going to be your ticket in!

2. “How do I even start this?”

At first you have no idea how to even start the dang thing. There are so many awesome things about you that you don’t know which one to lead it with. Should you start with a quote? Maybe a story? Maybe straight to the point? AHHHHHHHHHHHH! The best thing I can say here is to follow an advice I read online: Just start! Doesn’t matter how just start. If you keep trying to figure it out you will have writer’s block.

3. “I SO got this!”

Once the hard part of starting is initiated then you are rolling through. You have so many good examples and stories to tell. There is so much you need to put in one paper, how will it ever fit?

4. “I’m allowed HOW MANY words?”

This is after you’ve written your essay and look at the length requirement. You have probably written WAY more than what is allowed and you need to cut it back. So you work a few hours to cut it down.

5. “What do you think?”

Is a question you will often be thinking. If you are like me, at this point you’ve sent your essay to your parents and some of your closest friends. Pick ones that understand you, but also are familiar with the environment you will be going to. Feedback is critical. You may think your paper is amazing, but other people read it very differently. Don’t be afraid of constructive criticism, take all the feedback and work it into your paper.

6. “So, you’re telling me I need to rewrite this whole thing?”

If you’re situation was like mine, the essay was good but it didn’t fit the culture of where I was applying. My friend who had studied in that environment before gave me feedback and I am incredible grateful. While I appreciated the feedback, it was still a little discouraging. But you have to be objective, you have to accomplish your goal in the best way possible.

7. “I can’t do it. I’m not good enough.”

At one point or another we all reach this point of self-doubt. You think you are not good enough, or not smart enough. You know deep down you are, but the situation of rewriting is overwhelming and discouraging. You NEED this step. This step is the one that is the lowest point, which means after this you will soar up.

8. “What is wrong with me, OF COURSE I CAN DO THIS!”

This is the point where you realize that heck yes you are good enough. Heck yes, you can do this! This is your aha moment! The moment things start making sense and become even more of a fighter. This moment for me actually happened as I was walking my mile at the gym after an intense work out. I just realized if this lazy bum can get her butt in the gym 3 times a week and work so hard for that bikini ready bod, she can TOTALLY own this essay. I regained new strength and courage to this!

9. “Time to press submit.”

You’ve done it. You’ve written the best essay you could have possibly written. You feel confident with what you are submitting. It’s exciting and exhilarating. You are ready for this, so you press send.

10. “Let me check my e-mail.”

You are paranoid. You are not constantly checking your e-mail for a response. You are dying to know if you have been accepted or not. It is your only thought and you are staring at that screen until you get an answer.

And whether you get accepted or not, I hope you know that all that hard work you put in wasn’t for nothing. You learned a lot about yourself, and showed how much of a fighter you are. This is a stage most of us go through in life and it only makes us better for it. Good luck on all those college essays and happy writing!

Much love always,



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